Leon County Judge Hawkins Removed From The Bench
The Florida Supreme Court has removed Leon County Judge Judith Hawkins from the bench. Hawkins sold her religious books from her office to lawyers and staffers as part of her for-profit ministry.
The Court agreed with a recommendation by the Judicial Qualifications Commission to remove Hawkins from the bench, effective immediately. A JQC hearing panel initially recommended a three month suspension without pay, but the request was upped to termination after Hawkins said, "I had a moment when my faith instructed me, like many other litigants, to hold fast to my innocence and fight the good fight," in her defense to keep her job.
The JQC took issue with that statement, and in August, recommended Hawkins be removed.
In a response to that recommendation, Hawkins argued the removal recommendation was a much stronger penalty than what had originally been suggested by the hearing panel for the state’s judicial qualifications commission.
In it's decision to remove Judge Hawkins, the Florida Supreme Court said she was also deceitful and dishonest during a disciplinary hearing and that can't be tolerated in a judge.